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Most gluten-free baked products send the message, “Beggars can’t be choosers.” Mermaids Bakery takes a different approach. In the Snickers cupcake, buttery caramel and crushed peanuts are baked into a chocolate cake, topped with cream cheese frosting, drizzled with caramel, and garnished with more nuts. It’s the kind of dessert that gets better with every crumb.
Bonus Bite: The coconut macaroons are popular for their chewy sweetness—and they’re offered every day. 1543 Champa St., 303-534-0956, mermaidsbakery.com
Double Chocolate Chunk Cookie
Gluten-free treats dry out quickly, so freshness is paramount. At Boulder Baked, the double chocolate chunk cookies—chocolate chips embedded in a rich chocolate batter—are baked to order. The reward is a piping hot, gooey treat that delivers satisfying crunch at the edges.
Bonus Bite: Indulge in the cookie sundae, in which a freshly baked cookie tops a bowl of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and hot fudge. 1911 Broadway, Boulder, 303-444-4999, boulderbaked.com
Coconut Cream Pie
City, O’ City
City, O’ City, which gets all of its baked goods fresh daily from WaterCourse Bakery next door, is a paradise for sugar addicts. Though the restaurant offers cookies, cupcakes, muffins, and more, the coconut cream pie is a dish of grand proportions. The crisp, gluten-free crust cradles a velvety coconut filling, clouds of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of toasted coconut flakes. The gluten-free dessert is also vegan.
Bonus Bite: Sit down for a meal. The menu is designed for the conscious eater who still (rightly) expects a delicious dining experience. 206 E. 13th Ave., 303-831-6443, cityocitydenver.com
The Gluten Escape
A brownie may seem a simple thing, but in the gluten-free world a perfectly textured square of the chocolate confection is hard to come by. The Gluten Escape’s version, made with rich dark chocolate, has achieved a cakelike texture that’s not overly
crumbly or dense—consistencies that befall many lesser brownies.
Bonus Bite: The freshly baked cinnamon buns will start your morning right. 4403 S. Tamarac Parkway, Suite 103, 303-694-9999, theglutenescape.com